Swiss Cycling reaffirms support for McQuaid while acknowledging legal challenge
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Swiss Cycling reaffirms support for McQuaid while acknowledging legal challenge

by Shane Stokes at 10:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
UCI president and federation awaiting crucial arbitration hearing

Pat mcQuaidCommenting in the wake of the decision by Irish clubs not to back Pat McQuaid’s request for nomination for the UCI presidency, Swiss Cycling has said that it is standing by its decision to endorse the Irishman.

The federation originally announced on May 16th that it would back him for re-election, opting to do so after he requested nomination from it.

This pledge of support was however thrown into uncertainty. Firstly, there were suggestions that several board members had not nominated him, contradicting claims of unanimous support. Secondly, former Swiss national coach Kurt Buergi, former Swiss Cycling board member Mattia Galli and the ex-pro Patrick Calcagni combined with the Skins clothing company last week to launch legal action over the nomination.

Contacted by VeloNation, Swiss Cycling spokesperson Selina Kuepfer said that the previous pledge of support remained current. “Our position doesn’t change and the nomination remains,” she said.

However Kuepfer also acknowledged the legal challenge which complicates matters and, depending on the outcome, which could in theory leave McQuaid exposed and without the nomination he needs.

“We did receive a complaint from three Swiss Cycling members,” she said. “A trial is now open and the dossier is now with the Swiss Cycling arbitration tribunal.”

There are no indications as to when a final decision will be made.

Under UCI rules, all candidates for election need to be nominated by a national federation. McQuaid’s originally sought backing from Cycling Ireland, the federation which had given him support prior to the 2005 and 2009 elections.

However while he was nominated on April 12th, that backing was later deemed invalid due to procedural errors.

CI then bowed to public pressure and said that its club members would decide the matter via a vote at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) which would be held on June 15th.

This prompted McQuaid to seek to bypass the process and to request a nomination from Swiss Cycling instead.

With Cycling Ireland’s member clubs voting 91 to 74 against supporting him, his only route towards election is if Swiss Cycling’s support holds firm.

Providing that is the case, things are still complicated. British Cycling president Brian Cookson has decided to run against McQuaid. In addition to that, rumours of some opposition to the current leader from within the UCI management committee have been followed by the presentation of what is termed a ‘damning dossier’ on his dealings with Lance Armstrong.

Cookson commented on that documentation yesterday. “I was disturbed by what I heard and I have been assured it will be properly investigated,” he stated.

McQuaid has not commented yet on that matter, nor on the Irish clubs’ decision on Saturday.

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